ISOPP Immunotherapy Task Force Report

Submitted by Lynne Nakashima, Chair, ISOPP Immunotherapy Task Force

The ISOPP Immunotherapy Task Force has been hard at work since the fall of 2020, developing resources to assist oncology pharmacy practitioners in managing the care of patients on immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that stimulates the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. There are several different types of immunotherapy, including immunomodulators like immune checkpoint inhibitors, adoptive cell therapy, like chimeric antigen receptor therapy (CAR-T), and cancer vaccines.  The Task Force chose first to focus on immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The Task Force is pleased to announce the publication of the ISOPP Position Statement on the role of oncology pharmacy practitioners in immunotherapy treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors for malignant conditions! This position statement has been published online ahead of print in the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice (JOPP).

The position statement describes four key recommendations:

1) participation as an integrated, collaborative member of the multidisciplinary health care team (MHT);

2) provision of education and training for patients, students, residents, fellows and other members of the MHT;

3) involvement in clinical governance to optimize the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors and

4) involvement in research and development in the field of immunotherapy.

The Task Force is also happy to report that the Immunotherapy Tool Kit is being finalized for posting on the ISOPP website. The toolkit provides links to resources that oncology pharmacy practitioners will find useful in various different aspects of their practice when managing patients being treated with immunotherapy.

The Task Force was ably represented by Jared Borlagdan, who gave a presentation at the recent ISOPP Virtual Symposium 2022, entitled, “Immunotherapy Updates in Solid Tumor Malignancies”.

And finally, the Task Force is working on a write-up of the survey completed last year, as well as educational opportunities available for oncology pharmacy practitioners.

It is a pleasure to serve as the chair of this Task Force, and I would like to thank all the Task Force members for their contributions: María Asunción Albert-Marí, Elif Aras Atik, Jared Borlagdan, Alexandre Chan, Constanza Cortés Labra, Andrea Crespo, Melanie Danilak, Mario de Lemos, Marc Geirnaert, Esin Aysel Kandemir, CheaXin Lim, Ramatu Mas'ud Alabelewe, Rina Mutiara, Karunrat Tewthanom, Andrew Walker, Barbara Yim, and Miguel Yu.